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Parramatta Salvos keep heart in the right place

Parramatta Salvos keep heart in the right place

Parramatta Salvos keep heart in the right place

10 August 2017

Major Grant Sandercock-Brown in front of the new Parramatta Salvation Army building, purchased in August 2017.

By Lauren Martin

The future of The Salvation Army in Parramatta is no longer uncertain, with the purchase of a property that will keep the Army in the heart of the western Sydney suburb where it’s been for the past 133 years.

“In our view, that’s where The Salvation Army belongs – in the town centre – that’s our heartland in terms of our ministry,” said Parramatta Corps Officer, Major Grant Sandercock-Brown.

The corps sold its building last year, but the property it was trying to secure fell through, causing uncertainty about the future location of the corps.

“It would have been a much cheaper option for us to go to an industrial site,” Major Sandercock-Brown said. “But we surveyed the corps and the overwhelming response was that they wanted to stay in the CBD, that they felt that the Army should be doing mission and ministry in the town centre. So we pushed very hard for that to happen.” 

The new two-storey property (pictured right) is located in Parramatta’s main street, Church Street, and has existing retail on the ground floor, which will remain. The first floor will be renovated to house mission and ministry expressions, as well as a worship centre. It’s expected to open in 2019, 50 years after the opening of the current Parramatta Corps building, and exactly 100 years after the opening of the first Parramatta Corps building in George Street.

Major Sandercock-Brown says the timing of the purchase is perfect as the functionality and design of the building will reflect the NSW/ACT Division’s new Hope Rising strategy. Services, ministries and corps will work together and there will be capacity for different congregations within the western Sydney area to worship at the one location, while maintaining individual Communities of Hope in numerous suburbs.

“We believe we have come up with a great model because the operating costs for a modern building are very significant with all the requirements around lifts, air conditioning, and all sorts of other provisions. Lots of corps [find it] hard work to meet the costs of running their building,” he said.

“In our new location, the ground-floor retail will all stay, it will be rented out and that will generate income for mission as well as covering the costs of the building. We’re calculating that there will be a missional surplus that will go back to the division to fund mission elsewhere.”

The corps is now searching for an intermediate location where its services, ministries and worshipping community can gather during the planning and construction phase.

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